(b) The plan shall operate subject to the supervision and control of the board. The board shall consist of the commissioner or his or her designated representative, who shall serve as an ex officio member of the board and shall be its chairperson, and six members appointed by the Governor. At least two board members shall be individuals, or the parent, spouse or child of individuals, reasonably expected to qualify for coverage by the plan. At least two board members shall be representatives of insurers. At least one board member shall be a hospital administrator. A majority of the board shall be composed of individuals who are not representatives of insurers or health care providers.
(c) Board members shall serve for a term of three years. A board member's term shall continue until his or her successor is appointed.
(d) Vacancies in the board shall be filled by the Governor. Board members may be removed by the Governor for cause.
(e) Board members shall not be compensated in their capacity as board members but shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in the necessary performance of their duties.
(f) The board shall submit to the commissioner a plan of operation for the plan and any amendments to the plan necessary or suitable to assure the fair, reasonable and equitable administration of the plan. The plan of operation shall become effective upon approval in writing by the commissioner consistent with the date on which the coverage under this article must be made available. If the board fails to submit a suitable plan of operation within one hundred eighty days after the appointment of the board of directors, or at any time thereafter fails to submit suitable amendments to the plan of operation, the commissioner shall adopt and promulgate any rules necessary or advisable to effectuate the provisions of this section. The rules shall continue in force until modified by the commissioner or superseded by a plan of operation submitted by the board and approved by the commissioner.
(g) The plan of operation shall:
(1) Establish procedures for operation of the plan: Provided, That the plan shall be operated so as to qualify as an acceptable alternative mechanism under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and as an option to provide health insurance coverage for individuals eligible for the federal health care tax credit established by the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance Reform Act of 2002 (Section 35 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986);
(2) Establish procedures for selecting an administrator in accordance with section six of this article;
(3) Establish procedures for the handling, accounting and auditing of assets, moneys and claims of the plan and the plan administrator;
(4) Develop and implement a program to publicize the existence of the plan, the eligibility requirements and procedures for enrollment;
(5) Establish procedures under which applicants and participants may have grievances reviewed by a grievance committee appointed by the board. The grievances shall be reported to the board after completion of the review. The board shall retain all written complaints regarding the plan for at least three years; and
(6) Provide for other matters that are necessary and proper for the execution of the board's powers, duties and obligations under this article.
(h) The plan shall have the general powers and authority granted under the laws of this state to health insurers and, in addition thereto, the specific authority to:
(1) Enter into contracts that are necessary or proper to carry out the provisions and purposes of this article, including the authority, with the approval of the commissioner, to enter into contracts with similar plans of other states for the joint performance of common administrative functions or with persons or other organizations for the performance of administrative functions: Provided, That the provisions of article three, chapter five-a of this code relating to the Division of Purchasing of the Department of Administration do not apply to any contracts executed by or on behalf of the plan under this article;
(2) Sue or be sued, including taking any legal actions necessary or proper to recover or collect assessments due the plan;
(3) Take any necessary legal action:
(A) To avoid the payment of improper claims against the plan or the coverage provided by or through the plan;
(B) To recover any amounts erroneously or improperly paid by the plan;
(C) To recover any amounts paid by the plan as a result of mistake of fact or law; or
(D) To recover other amounts due the plan;
(4) Establish and modify, from time to time, as appropriate, rates, rate schedules, rate adjustments, expense allowances, agents' referral fees, claim reserve formulas and any other actuarial function appropriate to the operation of the plan. Rates and rate schedules may be adjusted for appropriate factors such as age, sex and geographic variation in claim cost and shall take into consideration appropriate factors in accordance with established actuarial and underwriting practices;
(5) Issue policies of insurance in accordance with the requirements of this article;
(6) Appoint appropriate legal, actuarial and other committees as necessary to provide technical assistance in the operation of the plan, policy and other contract design and any other function within the authority of the pool;
(7) Borrow money to effect the purposes of the plan. Any notes or other evidence of indebtedness of the plan not in default shall be legal investments for insurers and may be carried as admitted assets;
(8) Establish rules, conditions and procedures for reinsuring risks of participating insurers desiring to issue plan coverages in their own name. Provision of reinsurance shall not subject the plan to any of the capital or surplus requirements, if any, otherwise applicable to reinsurers;
(9) Employ and fix the compensation of employees, including an executive director of the plan. The executive director shall have overall management responsibility for the plan and is exempt from the classified service and not subject to the procedures and protections provided by article two, chapter six-c of this code and article six, chapter twenty-nine of this code;
(10) Prepare and distribute certificate of eligibility forms and enrollment instruction forms to insurance producers and to the general public;
(11) Provide for reinsurance of risks incurred by the plan;
(12) Issue additional types of health insurance policies to provide optional coverages, including medicare supplemental insurance; (13) Provide for and employ cost containment measures and requirements, including, but not limited to, preadmission screening, second surgical opinion, concurrent utilization review and individual case management for the purpose of making the benefit plan more cost effective;
(14) Design, use, contract or otherwise arrange for the delivery of cost-effective health care services, including establishing or contracting with preferred provider organizations, health maintenance organizations and other limited network provider arrangements: Provided, That all contracts with preferred provider organizations, health maintenance organizations, other network providers or other health care providers shall provide that plan participants are not personally liable for the cost of services covered by the plan other than applicable deductibles or copayments, including any balance claimed by the provider to be owed as being the difference between that provider's charge or charges and the amount payable by the plan; and
(15) Adopt bylaws, policies and procedures that are necessary or convenient for the implementation of this article and the operation of the plan.
(i) The board shall make an annual report to the Governor which shall also be filed with the Legislature. The report shall summarize the activities of the plan in the preceding calendar year, including the net written and earned premiums, plan enrollment, the expense of administration and the paid and incurred losses.
(j) Neither the board nor its employees are liable for any obligations of the plan. No member or employee of the board shall be liable and no cause of action of any nature may arise against them for any act or omission related to the performance of their powers and duties under this article unless the act or omission constitutes willful or wanton misconduct. The board may provide in its bylaws or rules for indemnification of, and legal representation for, its members and employees.